Huawei takes Swedish regulator to court over 5G ban

Huawei takes Swedish regulator to court over 5G ban

06 November 2020 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Huawei is taking the Swedish telecoms regulator to court over its ban on operators from using its equipment in 5G networks.

This is believed to be the first time any ban on Huawei has been challenged in a European court – and any case might force authorities to reveal whether or not they have evidence against Huawei.

The Chinese company has always denied it is a security threat to western countries. And no one has published any information about a threat.

A spokesperson for the Swedish post and telecoms regulator, Post- och telestyrelsen (PTS), told the Reuters news agency this morning: “What happens now is we will send the appeal to the administrative court of Stockholm. After that, they will handle this case.”

Sweden followed other European countries in effectively banning Huawei and its Chinese rival, ZTE, from 5G networks. Some did it quietly, by allocating 5G contracts to Ericsson and Nokia; the UK has been one of the few others to promulgate a ban.

“We think the decision that has been taken is not good for customers nor for Sweden in general,” Kenneth Fredriksen (pictured), Huawei’s executive vice president for Central East Europe and the Nordic region, told Reuters. “We therefore want a Swedish court to look at if the decision has been taken through a proper process and according to the law.”

Earlier Fredriksen posted on LinkedIn: “We can´t change the fact that we are an international company that was founded in China. It’s our heritage and [something] in which we are proud of.”

He added: “However we can change the assumptions and false information about Huawei, with open and transparent communication, and that we have always been welcoming. We have, during our 20 years in Sweden, only been contributing with safe and high quality digital infrastructure and we want to continue our mission for Sweden.”

Any companies taking part in Sweden’s upcoming 5G auction have to remove Huawei and ZTE equipment by 1 January 2025 – earlier than in the UK, where all 5G equipment from Huawei has to be removed by the end of 2027.

PTS said in October that it had approved four companies to bid for 2.3GHz and 3.5GHz auctions for 5G services: Hi3G Access, Net4Mobility, Telia Sverige and Teracom.

It said that assessments by the Swedish Armed Forces and the Swedish Security Service meant that “New installations and new implementation of central functions for the radio use in the frequency bands must not be carried out with products from the suppliers Huawei or ZTE.”

It added: “If existing infrastructure for central functions is to be used to provide services in the concerned frequency bands, products from Huawei and ZTE must be phased out 1 January 2025 at the latest.”